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It's that time of year again! Come and tell me your top recipes, tips and ideas for preserving fruit and veg!

(10 Posts)
HopeForTheBest Sun 12-Jun-11 10:17:18

Last year I did a selection of jams and pickles, which ranged from superb (blackberry, raspberry, cherry jams and pickled onions) through could-be-better (pickled beetroot and chili jam) to hmm (the plum "jam" which set so hard we couldn't get it out of the jars grin, and the strawberry jam which dicoloured very fast).

This year I'm going to do similar again, but would also like to try some fruit-in-syrup type compotes, for using the fruit in pies, crumbles etc or over ice-cream or yogurt.

I also want to try some simple chutneys, and would particularly like to do some smoother more sauce-based type chutneys (eg for eating with bbqed meat). Has anyone done anything like this?

I will once again be making my strawberry liqueuer, and will have a go at either raspberry or blackberry too. Makes excellent Christmas presents.

Does anyone have tips on how to improve the strawberry jam - is the secret lots more lemon juice? Or should I "cheat" and combine it with something else eg apple?

I've just been given 2 kilos of cherries from a neighbour, so am going to try the cherries-in-syrup thing today.

Come and revel in some old-fashioned pickling and preserving and tell me about what you'll be canning/jarring this year smile.

zanz1bar Sun 12-Jun-11 19:50:19

Spiced cherries, a bit like a cherry chutney with a good hit of chilli, dam fine with Christmas ham.

eeky Tue 14-Jun-11 07:26:08

Hope, I love preserving too. My favourites are strawberry jam with a drop of balsamic vinegar, rasp jam, blackcurrant jelly, damson or cranberry chutney. I made a spiced apple butter one year which took about 2 days in the kitchen but was marvellous and am still using it to cook and glaze hams and make cakes.
I have been less successful with drinks - damson gin ok. I would love your fruit liquer recipe if you can post it here?

ProfYaffle Tue 14-Jun-11 07:30:59

Have you tried bottling? I bottle whole fruit, my favourite at the moment is damsons bottled in spiced red wine, really lovely heated and poured over vanilla ice cream.

My other favourite is pickled damsons, really nice sweet and sour chutney type taste.

Re fruit butter, I make spiced apple and blackberry butter. As it's firmer than normal jam it's really good as a cake filling because it holds it's shape and doesn't dribble down the sides and also in jam tarts for the same reason, it doesn't bubble up all over the tray so you really deep fill them.

HopeForTheBest Tue 14-Jun-11 08:55:20

Oooh, hadn't considered fruit butters, am off to have a google!
Apple butter in particular sounds v. much like something we'd like.

Cherry chutney also sounds good, do you have a particular recipe you use zanz1bar?

Will dig out my strawberry liqueur recipe and post it, but it is embarrassingly easy and foolproof, but v. v. tasty (especially a drop of it in a glass of bubbly - mmmmmm!)

I can't really do any fruit in alcohol as dh doesn't eat stuff like that (he's not keen on alcohol in anything at all). Although it might make nice Christmas presents, so maybe worth doing a few small jars...

PlentyOfPrimroses Tue 14-Jun-11 09:13:18

Most things will turn to wine if you chuck in a bag of sugar, a bit of yeast and a couple of lemons wink

Littlepurpleprincess Thu 16-Jun-11 20:34:09

I like making more savoury chutneys to eat with curries. Rhubarb and garlic is very nice.

I've got a pear tree in my graden that seems to have rather a lot or pears this year. Any ideas? I've done spiced, pickled pears, orchard jam, pear apple and apricot chutney, and I've made pear crumbles in previous years.

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 18-Jun-11 18:02:40

I'd be really interested in your strawberry liqueur recipe Hope. I've just this morning picked eight pounds of strawberries from my garden. I'm making some jam and have frozen lots of berries for use in smoothies.
I can't believe it but my kids are actually getting bored of lovely ripe home-grown strawberries.

HopeForTheBest Sun 19-Jun-11 12:48:35

Here the one I used last year:

Strawberry Liqueur

Ingredients:
• 3/4 lb very ripe strawberries (wild if possible)
• 1 (1/2 inch) vanilla bean, crushed
• 1 3/4 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup water
• 1 1/3 cups grain alcohol or vodka

Directions:
1. Wash and stem the berries.

2. Place in a 2 Quart jar with tight fitting lid. Add the remaining ingredients, seal, and steep for 1 month in a dark place. Gently shake them once or twice a day during this period.

3. When steeping period is complete, strain the resulting liquid through a fine mesh sieve, discarding solids. If that does not filter enough of the mixture for your satisfaction, you can then line the fine mesh sieve with clean cheesecloth or a coffee filter and filter the mixture again.

4. Transfer the liqueur to a clean container. Cover and let stand for 1 week. Filter liquor into a decorative bottle with a tight fitting lid. Age for at least 1 month before serving.

MoominmammasHandbag Sun 19-Jun-11 22:57:33

Thankyou, will definitely give it a go.

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